The Cote d’Azur is famed for its turquoise blue sea, its stunning Provencal landscape and the wonderful light in which it is bathed.
It is hardly surprising therefore that many of the world’s greatest artists made their home here. It also makes sense that the work of those artists should be exhibited in museums throughout the French Riviera, the biggest concentration of which is in Nice.
Nice, which is only a short helicopter ride from Saint Tropez, is second only to Paris in the number of museums and galleries. The journey from Nice to St Tropez takes just 20 minutes.
Below is a list of the region’s leading art museums and galleries:
Henri Matisse came to live in Nice in 1916 and settled in Cimiez where he spent the rest of his life. His work is exhibited in a magnificent 17th century villa near his former home, on Avenue des Arènes des Cimiez. Marvel at this works, and then take the helicopter from Nice to St Tropez in time for cocktails.
Marc Chagall donated 17 of his large canvases from his Biblical Messages series to the museum in 1966. The museum, on Avenue du Dr-Menard, also in Cimiez, is now the largest collection of his work.
- Musee Picasso, Antibes
This museum dedicated to Picasso is not in Nice, but a short drive along the coast. It is located in the breathtaking Chateau Grimaldi, on the ramparts of Antibes, where Picasso worked in 1946.
The museum also includes works by Nicolas de Stael from the last two years of his life, plus paintings by Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, and Juan Mirò. Antibes is a 20 minute drive from the French Riviera’s main heliport, from where you can catch a helicopter from Nice to St Tropez.
In the hilltop town of Biot, a 15 minute drive from Nice, from where you can catch your helipcopter to St Tropez, is an extensive collection of works by Fernand Léger, including sketches, paintings, sculptures and mosaics.
- Fondation Maeght, St-Paul-de-Vence
Twenty mintutes inland from Nice is this exceptional museum which exhibits a unique collection of Aime and Marguerite Maeght, two renowned Cannes art dealers. Their collection is real mix, but the museum is among the best small museums in the world. Enjoy an afternoon here and then be driven back to the coast, where your helicopter Nice to St Tropez will await you.
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